Friday, 10 February 2012

Review for Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 5th January 2012
Genre: Adult Fiction, Chick-lit, Romance
Rating: 5/5 stars
Source: Bought

Amazon Summary:
"Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time."

As soon as I heard about this book I was desperate to read it. The whole prospect of a book about a quadriplegic man wanting to go to Dignitas in Switzerland- a clinic that legally allows a patient to take their own life- I thought was such a brave and controversial topic for Moyes to tackle. My mum, like our heroine Lou, is a carer and I was fascinated to get a glimpse of what she has to deal with on an everyday bases through the eyes of Lou. There are so many books out there that cover a number of serious illnesses like cancer, mental health, STI’s and so forth but this is the first book I’ve come across about what it’s like to live with such a sever disability and the effort it takes just to live out day to day life.

Me Before You is a real eye opener of a book. Prior to reading it I’d never given much thought as to how dramatically different life is for someone as severely disabled as Will. I’d never for instance thought of the embarrassment of having somebody have to feed and clean and dress you. How whilst a shop may say it’s wheelchair friendly simply because it has a ramp to access the shop sometimes that’s really as far as it goes regarding the width of aisles or how high up the products are. I’d never thought about how you can never do anything spontaneously as everything has to be planned in advance to fit your needs, and how people can be so damn patronizing despite your mind being perfectly sound. Jojo Moyes does a brilliant, thoroughly researched job in showing the many ways that life for someone like Will is different to ours and so much of a struggle that you can totally understand and even support his right to choose to end his life.

That being said Me Before You isn’t a depressing read. Of course with the subject matter in parts it’s terribly sad and peoples treatment of Will made me ever so angry, but Moyes counterbalances the plot with a lot of black humor from Will and those who care for him regarding his disability, his bickering with Lou in particular being a real highlight of the book. For a lot of the story I didn’t even see Will as a quadriplegic but just this charming, brilliant man with a wicked sense of humor. Whilst being utterly fascinated by the medical side of things I also loved the lighter side to this book, like Lou and Will’s growing relationship, and Lou’s attempts to try and get Will to change his mind about going to Dignitas with her plans for humorous and sometimes disastrous “life changing” trips and outings that never seem to go to plan.

I absolutely adored this book and can see why it’s been selected for so many book clubs most famously perhaps Richard and Judy’s as it really gives you a lot of food for thought and plenty to discuss. This book is definitely one of those life affirming type of reads that is guaranteed to touch the hearts of all who read it. A brilliant book that will make your heart ache in the best possible way.


  1. Ooh, 5/5! I've heard lots of good things about this one! Sounds like a difficult (at times) but very worthwhile read!

    1. It is definitely a very worthwhile read! I think you'd love it Leanna :)

  2. Fab review - I haven't heard a bad word about this yet! Another one to add to my ever increasing list of 'books I really want to read' :-)

    1. It's so deserving of all the brilliant reviews, I'm glad your adding it to your list!

  3. I loved this book so much I was prompted to write my first review of a book ever. I was taken on a journey of laughter, tears and learning of what it must be like to have a disability. It was so insightful, I find it amazing that it was written by an able bodied person. Thank you so much for the hours of enjoyment.


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